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Marikkar accuses officials of dragging their feet on the burial of Covid dead

BURIAL RIGHTS – Opposition lawmakers lead protest against the forced cremation of Muslims who die from Covid 19

ECONOMYNEXT- The opposition is slamming officials for dragging their feet on the issue of burials for the remains of people who die of Covid 19 saying the Director-General of Health Services is delaying the process by looking for suitable lands for a burial ground.

Opposition Samagi Jana Balavegaya Member of Parliament S M Marikkar told reporters in Colombo today that the Health Minister has already issued the gazette allowing burials based on the report by the technical committee.

Marikkar said DGHS Dr Asela Gunawardena “should have looked for suitable land when the Technical Committee headed by Prof Jennifer Perera made the recommendation that burials can be permitted in December.”

He said when the Prime Minister and Health Minister have allowed the burials and when an opportunity is there to right the wrong, the Director-General is trying to create racial tensions by dragging the process.

“Is he bigger than the Prime Minister and the Health Minister?” he asked.

The Health Minister issued the gazette allowing the burials of Muslim and Christian COVID deaths on February 25.

However, Gunawardena told NewsFirst yesterday that the burials of COVID-19 victims will only be permitted following the issuance of the relevant guidelines.

“Steps are underway to find suitable burial grounds, following which the relevant committee headed by the President, Subject Minister and Ministry Secretary will be notified. The guidelines will be issued after obtaining approval from the committee,” he said.

Sri Lanka has continued to cremate even after a technical committee appointed by the Ministry of Health said burial could be permitted under certain circumstances on December 24, last year.

A statement by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa that burials will be permitted made in Parliament was shot down by back-bench Parliamentarians a few days later at an official press conference held in the Party Headquarters.

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They said Rajapaksa, the leader of the ruling Sri Lanka Nidahas Podujana Peramuna was expressing his personal views. (Colombo/March 01/2021)

Reported by Imesh Ranasinghe

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2 Comments

  1. Why are we slow to implement the Gazette. Concentrate on our economy, the bigger picture, rather than creating racial tensions.

  2. When multi billions of viruses from COVID-19 patients mix with the soil daily by spitting, defecation to washing or bathing, why looking for so-called dry land to bury the dead COVID. There is poor refrigeration system in all the hospitals mortuaries. Dirty politics try to beat Natural and advanced Sciences as tried with mystic potions with no proper education.

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